NORTH BENGAL AND SIKKIM: The Best of Eastern Himalayas

Category: Nature Tourism



North Bengal is a heaven for Travelers with numbers of destinations and different options. 

Let me tell you my fellow travelers, North Bengal means much more than just Darjeeling and Kalimpong. We are Kolkata based Travel Company and  frequently travel to North Bengal exploring places that are less infested by tourists. Many new offbeat destinations have come up in the past years which are indulging every tourist with their serene beauties. Lofty range of Kanchanjungha, meandering river channels, dense forests with slender pine and fir, numerous varieties of ferns and humble hospitable villagers will always welcome you with arms wide open.

Immerse yourself in the local culture of North Bengal, become familiar with the life style of the people. stay among them, get a home away from home in the lap of the Himalayas. While the popular tourist spots like  have Darjeeling, Kalimpong have number of Hotels of various categories, the offbeat destinations and the upcoming ones offer you a chance to stay in Homestays, lavish Farm stays  with sprawling green organic farms, Heritage Bungalows.

 We have combined some well-known destinations with the lesser known offbeat ones to give our traveler flavor of true North Bengal.








Nestled among the rolling mountains with the glistening Mt Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky, Darjeeling fondly called "Queen of the Hills", provides a perfect gateway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature.

This is the land of the muscatel flavoured Darjeeling tea revered by connoisseurs across the globe. This is the land of the world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway where the century old miniature steam engine still chugs uphill

Darjeeling in the post modern era comprises of six T’s -Tea, Teak, Tourism, Toy Train, Tiger Hill and Trekkers’ paradise.


Darjeeling 7Point Tour Itinerary 

1.Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
2.Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.

3.Darjeeling Ropeway 
4.Tenzing & Gombu Rock 
5.Tea Garden 

6.Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre 
7.Gorkha Stadium 

5 Point Sight seeing:

1.Japanese Temple or Peace Pagoda

2.Lalkuthi or Lal Kothi:

3.Dhirdham Temple

4.Ava Art Gallery

5.Bengal Natural History Museum


3 Point sight seeing:

1.Tiger Hills

2.Ghoom Monastery

3.Batasia Loop and War Memorial.


While your stay in Darjeeling you can surely choose to visit a quite hamlet which is 19 km away from Darjeeling main hub but has a world of its own- LEPCHAJAGAT, the village of the Lepchas

If you are a nature lover or looking for a romantic stay for couple of days, then Lepchajagat is the place for you.

It is a dense forested area full with pines, oaks and rhododendrons.

from here you can visit  Jorpokhri and  Manebhanjan .

Jorpokhri is only about 5kms away and is well known for its serene beauty and views of Kanchenjunga, a beautiful pond and the rare Himalayan Salamanders (lizards).

 Manebhanjan, which is the base for Sandakphu trek is about 15kms and takes about 45 minutes to reach. 


Mirik is a small hill town and part of Kurseong subdivision and within Darjeeling district.  It lies almost halfway between Siliguri/NJP and Darjeeling on the alternative route that goes to Darjeeling through scenic tea estates. Its scenic views with the central attraction as the 1.25kms long lovely lake surrounded by Dhupi trees on it western bank and a vast garden on the eastern bank. Mirik is a tranquil laid back hill station. There are vantage points from where one can get lovely sights of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. And of course the area is surrounded by many rolling tea estates on mountain slopes. 



Kalimpong, a pristine hill station in West Bengal, is located about 50 km east of the famous tourist destination Darjeeling. This hill town, overlooking the beautiful Teesta valley, is at an altitude of 1250 m above the sea level and is vibrant with bustling activities. Kalimpong is located at the foothills of majestic Shiwalik ranges in Lower Himalayas. It is believed that until the 19th century the area was ruled by Bhutanese kings and was a forward post of the Bhutanese Army. 
        Enshrined with ancient Buddhist monasteries, centuries old churches and exquisite revered temples, Kalimpong was earlier a part of Bhutan until it was wrested by British rulers and joined to Indian territory. The populaces in Kalimpong are mostly of Nepalis origin. 

         One can view the panoramic picture of the down valley known as Teesta Ranjit Valley from the spot known as 7th Mile View Point. 


1) Dr Graham's Homes

2) Lord Buddha Statue:

3) Sherpa View Point 

4) Durga Mandir

5) Hanuman Temple

6) Deolo Hill: 

7) Mangal Dham

8) Thongsa Gompa 



1) Nature Interpretation Center 

2) Army Golf Course

4) Durpin Monastery

5) Jelepla View Point

6) Pratima Tagore House 

7) Pine View Nursery

8) Kali Mandir



You can combine the East and West Kalimpong local tours I have described above to make a full day local sightseeing tour. In addition to all the places I have mentioned above, you can also cover the following: 


1) Kalimpong's colorful market (particularly Haat Bazaar which sets up on Wednesday or Saturday

2) Sahid Park

3) Gouripur House

4) Rishi Bankim Park

5) Kalimpong College, Surya Sadan, Curcuit House etc. 



Kurseong is a sub-division of Darjeeling district. In 1835 it was handed over to the British by the King of Sikkim. It was a small village then. However it gained importance when the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train service was extended to Kurseong in August 1880. It then became the Head Quarter of the subdivision.

    The name Kurseong means 'The place of white orchids'. White orchids grow in abundance in this area. The area is also full of beautiful tea gardens, forests and year round vegetation on the hill slopes. From some parts of Kalimpong, you get magnificent views of Mt. Kanchejunga, Kabru and Jannu, and the meandering rivers Teesta and Mahananda flowing downwards to the lower plains & medows. 

     The toy train track runs on level with the road. The whistling sound of the steam engine can often be heard from your room and you can come out to see the mini train negotiating its way through the mountains. The places of interest covers:

        Eagle Craig,which has a park,from here the magnificent view of Kanchanjungha on one side and the southern plain on the other side can be enjoyed. 

        Dow Hill, a large section of the hill is covered with dense forest and the locals will vouch on the fact that there are leopards in the forest. While no lives have been lost, the leopards seem to be targeting the sheeps and goats. The hill is also famous for its many attractions including forest museum, excellent views, historic schools, parklands etc.

       Giddapahar View Point , one of the other hills in Kurseong is Giddapahar. The view of the mountains, the snow peaks (including Kanchenjunga) and the valley is awesome. The area also has a temple known as  Giddapahar Seti Mata Temple and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum.

       Those who wants to have a glimpse of Tea Tourism in Kurseong can visit Ambootia Tea Estate,Makaibari Tea Estate, Castleton Tea Estate. 

St.Mary’s Hill,with a church on top and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum are also nearby tourist attraction.






The meaning of the word Rishyap is ‘mountain peak. It is a small quaint Himalayan hamlet nested amidst of the hidden hills of Neora valley. Away from the chaotic city lifestyle it offers a 300 degree picturesque views of snow-capped mountains. Surrounded by deep, silent pine forest, Rishyap is not covered by motorable roads. To enjoy the beauty of Rishyap one has to walk down the mountains.


Places of interest around Rishyap:

      Pedong is a region that is also close to Rishyap and is 20 km from the region of Kalimpong. The region of Pedong is surrounded by pine forests and lies on the Jelep La pass, which connects India and Tibet. 
       Other nearby areas of Rishyap includes Jhanidi Dara. It is also a popular tourist destination known for its sunrise view and dense forest. The forest here has been deemed as a Heritage Forest Site by the forest department due to the presence of some century old Oak and Cypress trees. 
        The Tifindara, which was earlier known as “Sherpa Dara”, is a popular spot here. The breathtaking big-sky on the land of Kanchenjungha from Tiffin Dara sunrise point is what attracts the tourist 



Loleygaon is a quiet and peaceful hamlet located at an altitude of 5,520ft and surrounded by towering dhupi and cypress forests. Several locations in the village offer sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range. You can also see a range of orchids and other flowering plantations here. It's also a great place for bird watchers.


Places of Interest:

The Canopy Walk. There is a 180-meters long hanging wooden tree-top bridge that goes through the dense jungle. The bridge slowly rises in height and you will find yourself walking through the tree tops amidst dense forest.

Lolegaon View Point: The Lolegaon Viewpoint is located high up in the town. The place offers a panoramic view of the Neora Valley National Park and the stunning snow capped Himalayas,painted in the background.


Lava is a qaint hamlet nestled in forest. It is a small sleepy village located at an altitude of 7000ft. From Loleygaon the distance to Lava is 22kms and takes over 1 hour drive.

     It is the base and the gateway for the famous Neora Valley National Park and surrounded by dense forest of coniferous trees. Entrance to the park is about 10kms from Lava. 


Places of interest:

Close to the local market (bazaar) is Lava Monastery (the original name is Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery). The ambience in the monastery with typical Tibetan architecture is serene and wonderful.  

At Nature Interpretation Center of Neora Valley National Park you will understand the nature and the flora and fauna that you can expect in the Neora Valley National Park.  




It is a small village in the Kolbong Forest within the Neora Valley. The scenic beauty of the road is real visual pleasure as the road is curved through the dense and lash green tropical and alpine trees.


Places of Interest:  Changey Falls










Takdah is situated about 27 kilometers from Darjeeling. It is a popular tourist spot and a major tea making estate of Darjeeling.

Situated in the Runglee Rungliot District of Darjeeling, Takdah is placed at an altitude of 5100 feet at the foothill of the Himalayan Forest vegetation.

The area surrounding the tea gardens is primary attraction of Takdah where you can find forest of pine and ceder trees with beautiful gardens of local orchid flowers.


Places of interest:

There is a sacred monastery named Dechhen Pema Tshoiling Monastery or Gumpha.

 The famous tea estates of Takdah include tea gardens like Runglee Rungliot Tea Estate, Gielle and Namring.

Durpin View Point is another place of interest.

 There is also a 100 years old suspension bridge by the name of Barbatey Bridge.

 Those who are interested in getting a feel of the village culture can visit the local village market on Thursday at Dokan Dara,an epicenter of prime village trade and fair and also the Chagporti Tibetian Medical Institute.

 You can visit the picturesque villages of Tinchule (about 4 Km away) and Lamahatta ( about 12 km away) which offers some breathtaking views of the Kanchenjungha Mountain.

The orange  orchards of Bara Mangwa and Chota Mangwa which are 12 Km away can also be visited.

The Peshoke Tea Garden just 14 km away offers a nice view point.










The DOOARS or DUARS are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around BhutanDuar means 'door' and the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. There are 18 passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with the people living in the plains. This region is divided by the Sankosh river into the Eastern and the Western Dooars, consisting of an area of 8,800 km² (3,400 sq mi). The Western Dooars is known as the Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars as the Assam Dooars. Dooars is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern India.

The Dooars region politically constitutes the plains of Darjeeling District, the whole of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar district and the upper region of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal 

 The altitude of Dooars area ranges from 90 to 1,750 m. Innumerable streams and rivers flow through these fertile plains from the mountains of Bhutan. The major river for West Bengal part of Dooars are the Teesta besides many others like the Jaldhaka, Murti, TorshaSankosh,Dyna,  KaratoyaRaidak, and Kaljani rivers, among others.


Doors is a vast stretch of land with Tea estates, Sanctuary, Reserve  and National Parks.

Gorumara National Park and Jaldapara Wildlife are the most sought after places in Dooars.





A Himalayan wonderland, Sikkim is nestled in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas and nature has gifted this state with unique beauty.

All the four cardinal directions of Sikkim offer a wide variety of destinations catering different types of tourists.

We have for you some best destination packages, where you can relax, laze around, reframe your thoughts, blend your holiday with brew and enjoy the best of Sikkim.








 Ravangla is situated on the ridge separating the Teesta valley from the Rangit valley.

Nestled at an elevation of 7000 ft, the beautiful hill of Ravangla offers a splendid and panoramic view of Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Pandim, Mount Sinialchu and Mount Kabru.


Places of Interest

What makes Ravangla unique from other destinations in Sikkim are the Bonn MonasteryRalang Monastery, old yet historical market of Kewzing, along with mysterious small caves.

For a relaxing and rejuvenating experience Ralong Hot spring is the right place. 

You can also go on a short excursion to Temi Tea Estate which is acknowledged as the best tea garden in India and Sikkim.

You can go for an insightful journey to Khandosangphu and Sharchog Bephug; Kheunpheling Carpet Centre where one can purchase best carpets, shawls, and handicrafts made by Tibetan refugees.

You can visit Kewzing,as a part of the village tourism in Ravangla. It is a Bhutia village which welcomes every tourist with open arms. Here tourist can enjoy some delicious food or can see many cardamom and tea plantation.

Visit the Budhha Park which has statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The park offers an extensive view of the lofty mountains, serene surroundings and serene ambience. 

 If you are in love with your trekking shoes, Ravangla won’t let you down. You can head towards Borong and Maenam Hill to engage in trekking and sightseeing. In the forest of Maenam hills, one can see vegetations like oak, chestnut, magnolia and rhododendron trees. The hill is also a natural habitat of red pandas, Himalayan black bears and several species of deer.

The Rayong Sunrise View is also one such place which offers the captivating view of sunrise.



Namchi means “High Sky” and is completely synonymous as it is located at an elevation of 5,500 ft. 

Namchi is blessed with welcoming monasteries, traditional temples, lush greenery, flora, and forests. On a tour to Namchi, tourists can unveil the best kept secrets of the Himalaya.


Place of Interest

 An important station associated with Namchi is the Samdruptse Hill. Folklore says that Samdruptse Hill fulfils the wishes of every tourist. On Samdruptse Hill, a tourist can see the largest statue of Lord Padmasambhava in the world.

Chaar Dham in Solophok is just 4 kms from Namchi. Chaardham is a temple complex housing replicas of the 12 jyotirlingas of Hindu religion and four dhams or pilgrimage sites namely, Rameshwaram, Kedarnath, Dwarka and Puri. 

Tarey Bhir is a 10000 feet long cliff edge with almost 3500 feet abrupt drop. A small pathway above the edge of the cliff would take you to the middle, from where you can catch a glimpse of the River Teesta and River Rangeet. The hilltop of Tarey Bhir is covered in pine forests and you can often spot the rare wild mountain goats – Bharals grazing on the steep cliff face. 


Exhibitions and Fairs:

In the month of February, Namchi hosts an annual flower show which exhibits rare collection of orchids. The flower show is considered as the largest in Sikkim. Additionally, in the month of October, Namchi festival is hosted by the cultural and food tourism.



Chalamthang literally means “Orange Farm” in Lepcha language. Still untouched by tourist rush, here you can pick up vegetables from the garden

       While staying at Chalamthang, you can enjoy a whole lot of activities starting from angling, vegetable picking to trekking and forest picnics.

       You can visit Kaleej Khola – the local rivulet gurgling through the rocky slopes to get a dip or do some fishing. You can go trekking to nearby caves and hilltops or enjoy cultural programs and barbeques in the evening.







The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination


Places of Interest in and around Gangtok

Enchey Monastery,Hanuman Tok

Tashi View Point,Ganesh Tok,Do-Drul Chorten, Rumtek monastery, Zoological park, Flower Show, Handicrafts

         From Gangtok one can also visit Nathula Pass. Nathula Pass was a major corridor of passage between India and Tibet before it was closed in 1962. Located around 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, the road to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora. On a clear day you can even see the road winding down the Chumbi valley. Tourists are allowed to go close to the international border from where you can see Chinese soldiers on the other side of the barbed wire.

 Nathula is open for Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognised Travel Agency. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. Photography is strictly prohibited. One can find ATM facility here which is the worlds highest Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

 38 km from Gangtok ,at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. 

While visiting Nathula you can surely give a visit to Baba Mandir to pay homage to late army Major Harbhajan Singh.




Lachen is a remote village in North Sikkim and the winter home for Tibetan nomadic tribes against the backdrop of towering snow peaks, alpine flower valleys, and vast plateau. This is the base for exploring the high altitude Gurudongmar Lake and trekking to Green Lake (Depending upon prior permission).

On the way to Gurudongmar Thangu Village (4100m / 13450ft), a remote high altitude village of Tibetan Nomads & Chopta Valley can be visited.

Thangu valley occupies a very broad valley at the junction of Thangu Chu, Chopta Chu, & Lassur Chu. It is situated at an altitude of 14000ft.

Chopta Valley is situated at a height of 14,500 ft. This Valley is also known for its flowers. This is the second valley of flowers in North Sikkim after the more famous one at Yumthang. Both the valleys erupt in a riot of colours in the month of May, June & July. Also in the month of Dec & Jan you can play in the snow or even walk across the meandering frozen Chopta River.

From Chopta Valley drive for another 30kms in 1.5hr to Gurudongmar Lake (5225m / 17143ft) close to Tibet Border. This lake is the Second highest lake in India after the Tso Lhamu Lake. If weather permits and permission is availed, proceed for Gurudongmar Lake (17,800 ft).

Gurudongmar Lake is considered as one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian tantric Buddhist who conducted rituals there. The lake remains milky in colour throughout the year and it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava had touched the lake whilst he visited Tibet from this area. Hence, a portion of the lake never freezes.



Lachung is yet another remote high altitude village of Tibetan and Bhutia people in North Sikkim with towering rocky snow peaks, vibrant rhododendron valley, lush green yak pastures, perennial waterfalls and hot springs. This place is the base for exploring alpine valley of Yumthang and Yumesamdong close to the Tibetan plateau.

On the way ChungthangBhim Nala Waterfalls can be visited.


YUMTHANG:or the “Valley of flowers”. 

Yumthang is a lush green valley surrounded by snow peaks on all sides where the tree line ends. While on your way, you would be driving across the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which has more than 120 species of Rhododendron trees and is also the home to the endemic Rhododendron Niveum, the State Tree of Sikkim.
      In April / May / June the valley erupts in a riot of colours as Rhododendrons, Primulae and many other Alpine Flowers bloom in abundance. 
      In the winter, Yumthang is sombre with snow all around, and the snow clad mountains add to the ethereal beauty of this place.


MANGAN: An important center of Buddhism in Sikkim, Mangan is a small hill station located amidst the eastern Himalaya. Nature lovers and voyagers easily get attracted to this city as they can relax in the scenic beauty of Mangan.

      From Mangan, if the weather is clear, you may get to see the Khangchendzonga Range. This location offers a majestic view of Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Simvo, Mt. Jopuno, Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu. 








Anden is a heaven located high in the hills surrounded by forests overlooking the snow-cappped mountains.


Places of Interest

It is the base from where you can take the famous Hilley-Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek. Other nearby attractions include Jureli View PointGathang Waterfalls, Dodak Helipad, Devi Falls, Daramdin Sai Mandir, a Manghim and the market at Sombaria.



Kaluk-Rinchenpong and Hee Bermiok are considered as the offbeat destination sector in West Sikkim.

Kaluk is located amidst the mountains of West Sikkim, at an altitude of 5600 feet. It is basically the buffer zone area of the renowned Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. The area thrives in natural resources. Kaluk is surrounded by the villages of Lepchas who are successful in preserving their tradition, culture and life-style. The other communities also live peacefully in the area such as Rais, Gurungs and more. The village of Kaluk is considered important culturally, historically, religiously and naturally.


Places of Interest

Gurung Monastery,Rinchenpong Monastery,The Lepha Heritage House.


Rinchenpong is  at an altitude of about 5576 ft and is the latest addition to the tourist map of West Sikkim. The place is famous for the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga range of mountains.


Places of Interest

Nighdoh pond, Tato pani- the hot spring,Rishum Monastery,Srijanga Temple.


Hee Bermiok village is located in West Sikkim and is bounded by Hee River in the West, Kalez River in the North, Rangeet River in the East and Samdong Reserve Forest in the South. Other than being the perfect place for some good collection of plant life, the place is also the home to over 65 species of birds. Hee and Bermiok are two separate villages


Places of Interest

Sirijunga Falls and  Sirijunga Cave located at the point of meeting of Reshi Khola and Kalej. 

Chaaya Taal lake located at Hee-Kyangbari



The height of Uttarey is about 6600ft.
It is famous for its tranquility and natural beauty. The place provides beautiful view to the Himalayan mountains and is yet relatively less traveled by tourists. This allows a more serene atmosphere to be enjoyed. During winter the mountains around here are covered with snow allowing heavenly views.


Place of Interest:
The Kagju Gumpha (Gumpha is the local for monastery) in Uttarey is a highly revered place of worship for the locals and a good place for sight seeing. The monastery is set amidst dense forests. The wall paintings in the monastery might be of interest to you. The Dentam peak and the river is also visible from the monastery.
Other important tourist spots around Uttare include the Mainbus Waterfall and the Chewyabhang Pass. This pass is about 10 km of Uttarey and is the gateway to Nepal. Singshore Bridge (2nd Highest Suspension Bridge in Asia)

You can also visit the Trout fish rearing centre at Simphok.

You can visit Uttarey in the month of October-November to see Cherry Blossom and during March-April-May for Rhododendron Blossom.



Dentam is a scenic village at an elevation of around 1500 metres It is located in a very unique topography. Dentam commands a constant view of the Mt.Khangchendzonga. The entire area is surrounded by forest of rhododendrons. The village is an ideal spot for bird watchers and nature lovers. Trekking and mountaineering are arranged here. It is famous for the Alpine Gouda Cheese factory a product of Indo - Swiss collaboration. Cheese Plant at Dentam, West Sikkim, manufactures Gouda Cheese (naturally ripened cheese) and is one of the tourist attractions. Quality cow's milk is used under hygienic environment to produce Cheese and Paneer (Frozen Diced Paneer).



The placid town is located at an altitude of 6,800 ft. Most visitors gets attracted to the place as it offers good view of the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range including Koktang,Kumbhakaran (Jannu0, Rathong, Kabru, Kabru Dome, Kanchenjunga, Pandim,Siniolchu and others.


Places of Interest

Pemayangste monastery ,Sanga Choling monastery,Khecheopalri Lake,Rabdenste Ruins,Sangey Waterfall.

























































































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